Financial Behaviors Practice & Research Tools

A Toolkit for Expanding Financial Capability at Tax Time

This work expands upon The Volunteer Income Tax Preparer’s Toolkit: Showing Clients Why Tax Time is the Right Time to Save, a 2015 Toolkit by the Center for Social Development. This new offering presents the current evidence underpinning various tax-time efforts to expand financial capability among low- and moderate-income households. It includes sections on creating a VITA program and on several financial-capability products and services that organizations can offer alongside free tax-preparation services. The evidence comes from a variety of sources, but we highlight findings from research conducted by CSD, particularly that conducted as part of the Refund to Savings (R2S) Initiative. We created this Toolkit for anyone who is interested in or is in the process of designing a tax-time financial capability program. Our hope is that this Toolkit will also serve as a useful guide for other supporters of tax-time financial capability efforts—funders, advocates, policymakers, and community members—who want to understand the evidence behind related initiatives.

Project: Employee Financial Wellness Programs


Davison, G., Covington, M., Kondratjeva, O., Roll, S. P., & Grinstein-Weiss, M. (2018, June). A toolkit for expanding financial capability at tax time (CSD Toolkit No. 18-26). St. Louis, MO: Washington University, Center for Social Development.